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World percussion festival goes with a bang in Ha Noi

Update: September, 15/2008 - 00:00

World percussion festival goes with a bang in Ha Noi

(16-09-2008)

Striking a chord: Composer Vu Nhat Tan is one of the tutors at the music festival Cracking Bamboo taking place in the capital from September 15-22. — File Photo

HA NOI — Forty-five artists are taking part in an international percussion music festival that started yesterday in Viet Nam.

The festival, titled Cracking Bamboo, saw participants gather from Asia and Europe in Ha Noi from September 15-22. The musicians are working in three mixed ensemble groups to create a 35-40 minute programme comprised of solo contributions, improvisation and short composition.

The resulting program-me will be performed in concert today at the Goethe Institute, on Thursday at the French Cultural Centre, and on Friday and Saturday at the Ha Noi Opera House.

The three ensemble groups will then form new groups for the second phase, in order to give participants an opportunity to work with different artists.

The three new groups will travel to three different venues in Southeast Asia: one group will travel to HCM City, the second group to Jakarta, Indonesia, and the third group to Vientiane, Laos, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The artists will perform at HCM City’s Conservatory of Music at 8pm on September 25.

These venues will provide an opportunity for local musicians to participate in workshops that will lead to a newly "composed" program-me and final concert.

Directing the rehearsals are a number of artistic tutors, experienced in working in improvisation and co-operative projects, who have successfully demonstrated their ability to integrate diverse ensembles. They will be working with the participants to form the artistic backbone of the programme.

The tutors for this year’s programme are Udai Mazumdar (India, tabla), Pierre Stephane Meuge (France, saxophone), Murat Coskun (Germany/Turkey, hand drum), Françoise Vanhecke (Belgium, voice), S Badamkhorol (Mongolia, voice), Wu Wei (China, sheng) and, from Viet Nam, Vu Nhat Tan (composer, bamboo flute and live electronics) and Kim Ngoc (composer). Professor Bernhard Wulff (Germany) will serve as the artistic director of the project.

Participating musicians from various countries, including Germany, Britain, Norway, Sweden, South Korea, and Japan, are also attending. Five small percussion ensembles are expected from Southeast Asia: two from Ha Noi (one traditional and one modern), and one each from HCM City, Indonesia and Cambodia. In addition, six soloists from China, Laos, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand have also been invited. These young artists will be given the opportunity to participate in a dialogue with musicians from other countries.

Organisers are hoping Cracking Bamboo will extend beyond this initial collaboration with I’mPULSE Indochina to become an annual event.

Initiated in 2005, I’mPULSE seeks to create a process-oriented platform for young musicians in Asia and Europe by engaging them in a dialogue on innovative music concepts through music experimentation and percussion performance.

I’mPULSE Indochina and Cracking Bamboo are joint initiatives of the Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF), the Goethe-Institute Viet Nam and the Viet Nam Academy of Music and are supported by the French Cultural Centre, l’Espace.

The project offers a platform for an encounter between percussionists with "modern" European instruments and their forefathers, with traditional instruments of Southeast Asia, for a musical dialogue in mutual respect.

The ASEF advances mutual understanding and collaboration between the people of Asia and Europe through intellectual and cultural one-on-one exchanges.

The performances will begin at 8pm and be free of charge. Tickets can be picked up now at the Goethe Institute in Ha Noi and in HCM City from September 19. — VNS

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